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Illinois school clarifies 'Democrat' label on Lincoln plaque

Nov. 12, 2013 at 2:25 PM

CHICAGO, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Northeastern Illinois University said a plaque referring to Abraham Lincoln as a "Democrat" is a reference to his advocacy of democracy.

The plaque in the school's Frank Lloyd Wright Building, which reads, "This building is dedicated to public service honoring the memory of Abraham Lincoln -- Democrat," led to some criticism from commentators who pointed out Lincoln was the first Republican president of the United States, The Huffington Post reported Tuesday.

However, the university said the plaque, which has been in place for more than a century, is not an error.

"The Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies at Northeastern Illinois University is housed in a building that bears historical significance," the school said in a statement. "From time to time, the integrity of a plaque honoring the memory of Abraham Lincoln is questioned. Installed in the building for its opening in 1905, the plaque includes an inscription of the word 'democrat' following Abraham Lincoln's name. According to building archives, the word democrat was used because Lincoln was an advocate for democracy -- the political or social equality of all people. The word was not chosen to reflect a political affiliation."

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